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Hennepin County Medical Center is a leader in 'bloodless' surgery


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Much has changed as doctors have come to understand the risks of blood transfusions and the ways to avoid them — helped in part by studies of Jehovah's Witnesses. 

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Michael Anderson, a Jehovah’s Witness minister who underwent a bloodless emergency bypass procedure after a heart attack earlier this month, was visited in his hospital room by Syl Jones, a fellow Jehovah’s Witness and an administrative resident/fellow at Hennepin County Medical Center.

Dr. Daniel DiBardino didn’t have much time for niceties on Sept. 8 as he consulted patient Michael Anderson about the emergency cardiac bypass he needed. Anderson is a Jehovah’s Witness — opposed to donor blood transfusions — and DiBardino needed to know if he could breach that religious conviction during the procedure.

“What if he’s bleeding to death, which occasionally can happen in cardiac surgery?” he recalled asking Anderson and his wife. “A lot of things can go wrong.”

“Absolutely not,” was the reply.

A decade ago, that answer might have touched off a doctor-patient argument or the kind of ethics crisis featured in medical TV shows.

But as doctors have come to understand the risks of blood transfusions and the ways to avoid them — helped in part by studies of Jehovah’s Witnesses — much has changed.

Hospitals such as Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC), where DiBardino practices, have become more accommodating — and more adept at conserving patients’ own blood during surgeries.

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“When I was in medical school, honestly, that was never a thing; people didn’t talk about blood conservation,” DiBardino said. “You just used blood because that’s what you did. And that has changed.”

Today, for example, surgeons understand that one unit of blood often works as well as two and that excessive blood from donors can result in transfusion-related complications and even deaths. As a result, HCMC has reduced the use of donated red blood cells by 32 percent since 2009. Other Twin Cities hospitals have reduced their use of blood products as well.

HCMC has taken the approach a step further through its Bloodless Surgery and Medicine Program, including a firewall in its computerized medical records system that prevents doctors from ordering donor blood products once patients have refused them.

The computer system gives doctors alternatives, such as medications that stimulate more blood production in the body, which they can consider even when preparing for emergency surgeries, said Dr. Jed Gorlin, who directs transfusion medicine at HCMC and is the medical director for Memorial Blood Centers, a regional donor agency.

“In the heat of battle, you won’t remember all of those,” Gorlin said, “so it’s a checklist to go through all of that stuff.”

The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ objection to receiving donor blood comes in part from interpretations of the Bible, including a passage in Acts that calls on people to “abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.”

Practical interpretations vary somewhat, Gorlin said. Some members of the religion accept the experimental use of a substitute made from cow’s blood, while others refuse it. A few object to the use of a machine that recycles a patient’s own blood once it has exited the body. But almost all reject transfusions of red blood cells from donors.

Anderson, 66, has walked hundreds of miles visiting homes in southwest Minneapolis to teach his religion. He carried a medical directive with him for just such emergencies.

Then, driving from his home in Robbinsdale to his Kingdom Hall on Sept. 8, the minister knew something was wrong.

“All the way there, I had pain and it wouldn’t go away, and it wouldn’t go away and it wouldn’t go away,” he recalled.

Medics determined that he was having a heart attack and gave him aspirin and nitroglycerin pills, which had eased his pain by the time DiBardino sat with him to discuss his surgery: a triple bypass to reroute blood flow around blockages to the heart.

“There was no question ... transfusion would not be an option,” Anderson said in an interview from his hospital bed last week.

Hemoglobin levels

HCMC’s policy is to accommodate such objections for adult patients, when they are conscious and able to communicate their wishes, but not necessarily for parents acting on behalf of pediatric patients.

A 1944 child labor decision in Massachusetts still governs such cases, stating that “parents are free to become martyrs themselves. But it does not follow that they are free ... to make martyrs of their children.”

Once viewed harshly by the medical establishment, Jehovah’s Witnesses have taught doctors much about the body’s ability to survive surgeries without transfusions, Gorlin said. He gave a lecture in South Dakota this month titled “Management of blood: What we can learn from Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

A key measure is the patient’s hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs. Doctors once thought a hemoglobin measure of 10 grams per deciliter was the key threshold at which patients needed a transfusion. Now, they have found that patients are just as likely to survive if their levels drop to seven.

In one local case, a woman who hemorrhaged after childbirth survived despite her hemoglobin dropping to 2.3.

“Nobody really knows for any given person how much blood loss they’ll tolerate,” DiBardino said. “You just have to kind of put your faith into it.”

‘Every red blood cell matters’

Still, the odds of surviving the triple bypass that Anderson underwent are substantially lower without transfusions, DiBardino said.

As a result, surgeons make it a priority to conserve blood, from the initial step — severing a leg vein to serve as a bypass line around a clogged artery — to connecting that bypass line to the heart.

“It’s on your mind that every red blood cell matters for this guy,” DiBardino said. “You’re operating on the biggest structures filled with the most blood in the human body.”

At the end of the four-hour operation, Anderson’s hemoglobin level stood at seven. But with rest, iron pills and other medications, it rose to 12.

One week later, Anderson had fewer IV tubes and was standing and eating solid food. Two weeks later, he was back home.

He believes his clean living helped him survive the surgery and said he is eager to ease back into walking and his door-to-door ministry.

“It’s just a matter of pacing myself,” he said, “as I go.”

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      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ) In this case, WT stands for the position that only two cells (only two components as the primary, major components) forms, creates a new person. Man consists of several different types and sizes of tissues. Tissues forms organs. How much tissues and organs man should have that would be called a man? According to WT, man is a man, person if he consists of only two cells. It does not have to be composed of tissues and organs to be called a man. Have to be only 2 cells. Only two coupled cells are needed for the existence of one new person, the new man. Two cells in comparison to 4 major components in blood issue. Human body consists of more than 50,000 billion cells. In 1 liter of human blood there are about 4.5-5 x 1012  red cells. Interesting comparison?! 
      Imagine! 4.5-5 x 1012  red cells are needed to make this part of the blood to be called "major, primary part of the blood". And such  part may not be used to treat a disease or operation for JW member, because it is called "holy, sacred". Blood is holy - red cells are holy - white cells are holy - plasma is holy - platelets are holy. Holy means forbidden in this case.   
      On the other hand, only two connected, coupled cells are needed to be called sacred, holy, person, life.  Interestingly and controversial.
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Substitute of Biological Blood:
      These are substances which act like biological blood and are used in cases requiring a blood transfusion.
      Purpose:
      The main purpose served by blood is oxygen carriage to organs of the body. The artificial blood synthesized so far are serving functions varying from carrying oxygen to the function of volume expansion. Thus, volume restoration can be done with the help of these substances. These substitutes are mostly under clinical trials.
      History:
      Blood was considered supernatural having magical properties.  Many of the rituals were performed related to blood.
      Many beliefs are still followed. Several TV programs focused on the theme of blood like the vampires drinking human blood for survival. Jehovah’s witnesses are obligated to not receive or donate any blood-related products according to their beliefs even in case of matter of life and death.
      The history of blood transfusion dates back to very old civilization but documented research on this topic started after William Harvey discovered in the 16th century that blood flows in the arteries and veins. The blood transfusion often proved fatal. So different transfusions were tried like liquids from cows, goats, human milk as well as beer.
      The first cross-matched blood transfusion was done in the 20th century in Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. Later advancements led to the Blood Component Therapy in which blood was separated into different components, which has made whole blood transfusion obsolete.
      Progress in the field led to improvements in the safety of blood transfusion with respect to decreasing transmission of blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B, and C etc.
      Who needs it?
      Artificial blood is used in cases which require a blood transfusion.
      The situations include;
      Patients of hemorrhagic shock: a state of decreased perfusion of organs due to the increased amount of bleeding. In case of emergency situations like roadside accidents In situations when blood donation is not accessible or not available such as remote or far-flung areas To meet the high demand for blood transfusion Types of Synthetic blood:
      Perfluorocarbon-based Hemoglobin-based Stem cells
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    • By The Librarian
      New research in the USA shows that Jehovah's Witnesses who refuse blood transfusions recover from heart surgery faster and with fewer complications than those who have transfusions.
      Patients who are Jehovah's Witnesses had better survival rates, shorter hospital stays, fewer additional operations for bleeding and spent fewer days in the intensive care unit than those who received blood trans­fusions during surgery, a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows.
      Jehovah's Witnesses undergo extensive blood conservation before surgery, including red blood-cell boosting erythropoietin drugs, iron and B-complex vitamins to guard against anaemia. The practice offered a "unique natural experiment" for scientists to study the short and long-term effects of the blood management strategy and may point to ways to reduce need for transfusions, researchers said.
      The study included 322 Jehovah's Witness patients and 87,453 other patients who underwent heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic from 1983 to 2011. All Jehovah's Witness patients refused blood transfusions. In the other group, 38,467 did not receive transfusions while 48,986 did.
      The authors wanted to look at the difference between patients who receive blood transfusions during surgery and Jehovah's Witness patients, who undergo strict blood conservation practices before, during and after surgery, Koch said.
      While many patients do not have blood transfusions during and after heart surgery, they also do not undergo the same blood conservation practices that doctors use for Jehovah's Witness patients.
      Jehovah's Witness patients had an 86 per cent chance of survival at five years and a 34 per cent chance of survival 20 years after surgery, compared with 74 per cent at five years and 23 per cent at 20 years for non-Jehovah's Witness patients who had transfusions.

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    • By JOHN BUTLER
      Jehovah has clearly and unambiguously prohibited the use of blood for sustaining human life.  Many times, OT and NT.
      Can I question this point please ?
      Did Jesus ever forbid the use of blood to save a human life ?  Can you show me a scripture where JESUS forbids the use of blood to save a human life ? 
      Let us look at a few points here.
      I think it is true that the Jews / Nation of Israel practised something known as Pikuach Nefesh 
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      This meant life was precious and should be saved even if it meant going against the Law.
      Add to this that Jesus gave an example which in my opinion goes much deeper than the actual words of the scripture.  Matthew 12 v 9 through 12.
      9  After departing from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10  and look! there was a man with a witheredHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  hand!Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  So they asked him, “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath?” so that they might accuse him.Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. 11  He said to them: “If you have one sheep and that sheep falls into a pit on the Sabbath, is there a man among you who will not grab hold of it and lift it out?Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. 12  How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do a fine thing on the Sabbath.”
      Surely here Jesus is saying that it is right to go against 'the Law' and /or the principles of it, to save a life. 
      And please tell me, from where do those 'blood bits' come from that the GB say the congregants can use ?  I honestly have no idea on that one. 
      However if those 'blood bits' come from blood itself then isn't that actually using blood ?
      My wife hates cherries in cakes, so she picks them out, but she still eats the cake. If a person uses bits out of blood then in my opinion they are still using blood. 
      Over to you guys. 
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      If a Brother or Sister in good standing in the Congregation goes into the hospital, and agrees to a whole blood transfusion, and dies anyway, can they be disfellowshipped post mortem, and what about the funeral arrangements?  ( I have heard of this being done, but never explained....)
      Can they have a funeral at the Kingdom Hall?
      Let's say a Brother or Sister in good standing in the Congregation  goes berserk, and commits some crime, and either dies by misadventure, or gets shot by police ....
      Can they have a funeral at the Kingdom Hall?
      Considering such questions is like a submarine on the surface, at night, in the fog .... firing torpedoes randomly into the darkness, to see what lights up.
      .... sometimes survival depends on having the right answer about "What is out there?".
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The parents of a 14-year-old boy with bone cancer won a legal challenge against a Mesa hospital that attempted to override their religious objections to blood transfusions.
      The Arizona Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that a lower court's emergency hotline used by hospitals to authorize medical treatment on behalf of patients is not allowed under state law.
      The parents of a 14-year-old boy with bone cancer challenged Banner Cardon Children's use of a Maricopa County Superior Court emergency hotline to authorize blood transfusions on behalf of the child. The parents and boy are Jehovah's Witnesses and objected to blood transfusions on religious grounds. 
      While Banner Cardon's medical-treatment plan initially consisted of alternative therapies to fit the parents' religious views, hospital staff later determined that blood transfusions were medically necessary. 
      Hospital staff called the Maricopa County Superior Court hotline multiple times from October through December last year to seek authorization for the blood transfusions. The court granted three of five requests, according to court documents.
      The parents filed a petition with the Arizona Court of Appeals seeking to halt the transfusions.    
      The parents, identified as Glenn and Sonia H., argued that the Superior Court hotline "lacked jurisdiction" for such emergency medical requests and also argued that hospital staffers did not justify the medical need for blood transfusions. 
      The lower court said that such emergency requests were "standard practice" nationwide and the hotline rotated among Superior Court judges who answered requests after hours. 
      In an opinion written by Judge Kenton D. Jones, the appellate court concluded that the question of whether the lower court had jurisdiction to OK emergency medical treatment was one "of significant statewide importance."
      Jones noted that Arizona law allows a Juvenile Court that has jurisdiction over a child to order a parent or guardian to get medical treatment for a child. However, the appellate court did not find any such jurisdiction for a Superior Court emergency hotline.
      "Our review of Arizona statutes and rules of procedure reveals no provision ... authorizing the superior court to maintain an emergency hotline for the purpose of ordering medical treatment for a non-consenting minor," Jones wrote. 
      Therefore, the lower court's order authorizing medical treatment on behalf of the boy is void, the appellate court said. 
      The parents filed the appellate-court action in November but did not request a stay of the lower court's order. The boy received blood transfusions on Dec. 1 and Dec. 5 before his parents relocated his care to a medical facility in Portland, Oregon. 
      Banner Health officials said the health-care provider has not yet decided whether to appeal the appellate court's decision.
      Representatives of Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, which filed a legal brief on behalf of the parents, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
      A Jehovah's Witnesses website said the religion considers blood transfusions a "religious issue rather than a medical one," citing multiple biblical passages.
      Patients who develop certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, often require blood transfusions as a part of treatment.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Lola Garcia of Hemet, California, was the smallest infant in North America to undergo such a procedure.
      Physicians at Lucile Packard ChildrenÂ’s Hospital Stanford have performed open-heart surgery without a blood transfusion on the smallest infant ever to undergo such a procedure in North America.
      The surgery was done on a 10-day-old baby girl born in Hemet, California, with a serious congenital heart defect. Meticulous planning and execution of the surgery, an arterial switch procedure, allowed the medical team to surmount daunting technical challenges of treating a 7-pound open-heart patient without giving her a blood transfusion. It is the first “bloodless” open-heart surgery performed on an infant in the Western United States.
      “If you can do surgery safely and effectively without transfusion, there are several medical benefits,” said Frank Hanley, MD, chief of pediatric cardiac surgery at the hospital’s Betty Irene Moore Children’s Heart Center and one of two surgeons who performed the procedure. He said patients who do not receive blood products have fewer post-surgical complications, provided they do not lose too much blood.
      “You have to be able to do the surgery safely and not have the patient’s red blood cell count drop too low,” added Hanley, who is he Lawrence Crowley, MD, Professor in Child Health at the Stanford School of Medicine.
      A severe heart defect
      From the moment of her birth on Oct. 21, little Lola Garcia struggled to breathe. She and her parents, Felisa and Jared Garcia, were rushed to a childrenÂ’s hospital near the familyÂ’s home.
      Lola was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries, a rare condition in which the heart’s major arteries are not connected correctly. Normally, the blood follows a single, figure-eight-shaped circuit through the heart and lungs, then back to the heart and out to the body to supply oxygen to organs. In Lola’s heart, the blood made two separate circuits — from the heart to the lungs and back, and from the heart to the body and back. The normal figure-eight was separated into two poorly connected loops. Her brain and other organs were not getting enough oxygen.
      “They said she would definitely need heart surgery, and most likely a blood transfusion, to correct the problem,” said Felisa. “We were happy there was a solution, but when they said ‘transfusion,’ my heart dropped.” The Garcias are Jehovah’s Witnesses; they requested that Lola’s surgery be done without a blood transfusion because of their religious beliefs.
      Although many hospitals now offer bloodless surgery for adults, the challenges of avoiding transfusion are much greater in newborns who need open-heart procedures. Several hospitals around the country turned the family down. But the pediatric cardiothoracic surgery team at Packard ChildrenÂ’s offered to attempt baby LolaÂ’s arterial switch procedure without transfusing blood.
      “Very few people have the technical expertise to do this,” said Vamsi Yarlagadda, MD, a clinical associate professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine and the cardiologist at Packard Children’s who cared for Lola.
      Technical hurdles
      During surgery, Lola needed to be connected to a heart-lung machine, which would pump her blood through a circuit of tubing and membranes for re-oxygenation.
      The machineÂ’s tubing is primed with saline that mixes with the patientÂ’s blood. For an adult, the volume of saline in a standard heart-lung machine does not dilute the blood enough to be dangerous, but a 7-pound newborn has less blood to begin with. Connecting Lola to a standard heart-lung circuit would have dangerously lowered her red blood cell count.
      In the past, the problem has been solved by transfusing blood. For Lola, the Packard ChildrenÂ’s team took a different approach.
      Read more: 
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    • By Jesus.defender
      BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS
      Watchtower Teaching WT forbids blood transfusions because of Genesis 9:4 ‘But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat’.
      The WT teaches that a blood transfusion is the same as eating blood, because it resembles intravenous feeding. This doctrine was invented in 1944.
      Bible Teaching and Historical facts:
      1) Thousands of JWs and their children have died because they followed this WT error.
      QUESTION: Would you really allow your baby to die because of this WT instruction?
      2) Most JWs are unaware that their leaders have a history of making medical prohibitions,then later changing their minds to allow them. Examples include:
      (i) Vaccinations were forbidden by the WT from 1931 to 1952. JWs had to refuse vaccinations because the WT taught that ‘vaccination is a direct violation of the everlasting covenant that God made’ (Golden Age, 4 Feb 1931, p 293).
      Awake of 22 Aug 1965 admitted that vaccinations have caused a decrease in diseases(p.20)
      QUESTION: How did the parents of children who died from not being vaccinated, feel when the WT reversed its view in 1952? How many of these children died needlessly?
      (ii) Organ transplants were allowed by the WT up to 1967, but were forbidden in 1967 saying that ‘organ transplants amounted to cannibalism and are not appropriate for Christians’ (WT, 15 Nov 1967, p 702-4, and Awake 8 June 1968, p 21). Hence all organ
      transplants were forbidden for 13 years, during which time many JWs died needlessly.
      Then in 1980, the WT changed its mind to allow them saying that ‘organ transplants are not necessarily cannibalistic’ (WT, 15 March 1980, p 31).
      (iii) Blood plasma and blood particles were forbidden to be used by JW haemophiliacs (Awake, 22 Feb 1975, p 30). Shortly after, the WT changed its mind to permit certain blood particles to be used, but failed to put it into print for 3 years until 15 June 1978, p
      30 (WT). Only those haemophiliacs who phoned WT headquarters from 1975-78 discovered the change. Others were left to suffer and die.
      QUESTION: How long before the WT changes its view on blood transfusions?
      QUESTION: Why does the WT keep changing its mind on medical issues?
      QUESTION: Is it right for an infallible prophet of God organisation (such as the WT claims to be) to keep changing its mind.
      (iv) In 1984, they allowed for a bone-marrow transplant. Bone marrow is the very source of blood. However, they would disfellowship you for receiving a bloodtransfusion.
      3) In Genesis 9:4 the context is God forbidding the eating of animal blood (as pagans did), not the transfusion of human blood. A blood transfusion is not intravenous feeding, because the blood so given does not function as food. When one gives a transfusion, it is not a loss of life, but a transference of life from one person to another. It replenishes and saves a life.
      QUESTION: Since blood is not taken in as food to digest, but as life sustaining fluid, is it not clear that transfusion is different from eating?
      4) Leviticus 3:17 ‘You must not eat any fat or any blood at all.’ (NWT)
      QUESTION: Why do WT leaders forbid blood transfusions but allow the eating of fat? Why not forbid both? The WT is not consistently interpreting the Bible. Leviticus 17:11,12: ‘For the life of the flesh is in the blood’. Blood transfusion does not function as food, but simply transfers life from one person to another as an act of mercy.
      Key: Leviticus 3:17 prohibits eating animal blood, not transfusing human blood.
      QUESTION: Where is loss of salvation mentioned in Acts 15:9,11 for receiving a blood transfusion?
      Key: Acts 15:28,29. A blood transfusion uses blood for the same purpose that God intended, (as a life-giving agent in the bloodstream). Drinking blood is not God’s intended purpose for
      blood
      Conclusion: Even though JWs try to support blood transfusions with Scripture, their real reason for believing it is blind obedience to the WT. If the WT organisation lifted its ban on blood transfusions, JWs would freely accept them if needed.
      For the WT to admit they were wrong would cause too great a stir in their ranks. Therefore any changes must be presented as ‘new light’ in order to make it appear that ‘Jehovah’ is making the changes, rather than a few men on the governing body.
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      IRON RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Two years ago Mary Kurtz suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disease making daily activities unbearable.
      "I would wake up with terrible terrible pain in the chest area, it wasnÂ’t a heart attack, I knew that, but it took my breath away," said Kurtz.
      Typically a surgeon could perform an open surgery by making a long incision in the abdomen to prevent acid reflux. However this wasnÂ’t an option for Kurtz.
      "Being a witness, we abstain because in the Bible it tells us in Acts 15:20 to abstain from blood through digesting it or taking it in as a medical use and this is our belief," explained Kurtz.
      After consulting with non-witness and witness friends, Kurtz came across Dr. Fanous who could offer a TIF surgery where her esophagus could be worked on by entering through the mouth.
      "TIF or Transoral incisionless fundoplication where we use the device called the EsophyX HD device to go in, use the patient's tissues to construct the valve between the stomach and the esophagus," said Dr. Medhat Fanous.
      Currently Aspirus is the only program in the UP that provides this new option for surgery. Not only is it safe and durable but done as an outpatient procedure.
      "It was the best thing IÂ’ve ever done," said Kurtz. "After two years, I have no pain I have no acid reflux, I can eat things that I never even thought about touching before."
      And Kurtz isnÂ’t the only one who seen the benefits of the TIF procedure, in just under two years, Aspirus has helped more than 150 patients go through similar surgeries.
      "ItÂ’s a tight community and the word of mouth is very strong but the fact weÂ’ve seen 150 procedures, itÂ’s a testimony to the quality of our work," said Dr. Fanous.
      Recently Dr. Fanous published a study regarding the safety of the TIF with Jehovah witnesses and Kurtz couldnÂ’t be more thankful for his work and consideration of her beliefs.
      "I am happy that Dr. Fanous went along with this, because it is a big thing for us."
       

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      After being transported to Batroun Hospital suffering traumatic injuries, doctors were baffled after the girl's parents rejected a blood transfusion critical to save their daughter's life.
      BEIRUT: Farah D., the young girl who was involved in a recent car crash, received a blood transfusion Thursday after the Prosecutor of North Lebanon authorized Batroun Hospital Director Ayoub Moukhtar to perform the procedure despite her family's refusal because it goes against their beliefs as Jehovah Witnesses. 
      After being transported to Batroun Hospital on Wednesday suffering traumatic injuries, doctors were baffled after the girl's parents rejected a blood transfusion critical to save their daughter's life. 
      This bizarre development forced Moukhtar to contact his district's Prosecutor, who directed him to go ahead with the grueling operation which involved a set of blood transfusions. 
      The prosecutor argued the hospital was legally bound to save the girl's life.
      "I contacted the prosecutor, who stressed the need to save the girl's life regardless of the parent's religious beliefs, and the hospital duty is to keep the girl alive," he said.
      According to Moukhtar, Farah is now recovering from her injuries.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Kory Bradshaw says he was in a Toronto ICU with only months left to live when he got the phone call from doctors about getting a long-awaited double-lung transplant.
      Bradshaw, who has Cystic Fibrosis, didn’t hear anything for months after having gone through two false alarms since being put on the wait list for a transplant last May.
      “Third time’s a charm,” Bradshaw told Global News Monday.
      He and his wife, Renee Bradshaw, came to Toronto from their home in Kelowna, B.C., last January with the hope of receiving a transplant faster due to the better wait times in the city.
      The average wait time in B.C. is about two years, but in Toronto it’s around six months.
      After receiving the transplant over four months ago, Kory said he feels “amazing” now.
      “We can have a whole new life together, doing a lot of things that people might take for granted like walking and holding hands,” he said, adding he still has to get used being able to laugh properly.
      That new life together will also include a new modular home for them when they move back to Kelowna at the end of the month.
      In a cruel twist of fate, while Kory was in the ICU at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto in June, they received a call that their B.C. home was destroyed in a fire.
      “They believe it was from a discarded cigarette that caught our cedar hedge on fire, which spread in the shed into our house,” Renee previously said.
      Friends and neighbours quickly rallied to help them. Beth Shey, a neighbour they hardly knew, started a GoFundMe page to help them with living expenses while they were waiting for the transplant in Toronto.
      The couple said the new modular home should be delivered by the time they get back and should be move-in ready by late January.
      The Transplant
      Kory underwent his transplant at Toronto General Hospital, which does about 150 lung transplants every year.
      But Kory’s situation was unique. Since he and Renee are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and because of their beliefs, a blood transfusion was not possible. The couple said they searched for years but no surgeon would agree to attempt a bloodless transplant until they found Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, who agreed to perform the procedure as long as the couple understood the risks.
      Read more: 
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    • By Bible Speaks
      Jesus' kindness to woman's flow of blood of 30 years
       A brothers personal notes taken from a talk given by brother William Malenfant of Brooklyn Bethel.
      Please read the account found in Mark 5:25-34 (New World Translation) before continuing.
       (Mark 5:25-34) 25 Now there was a woman subject to a flow of blood twelve years, 26 and she had been put to many pains by many physicians and had spent all her resources and had not been benefited but, rather, had got worse. 27 When she heard the things about Jesus, she came behind in the crowd and touched his outer garment; 28 for she kept saying: “If I touch just his outer garments I shall get well.” 29 And immediately her fountain of blood dried up, and she sensed in her body that she had been healed of the grievous sickness. 30 Immediately, also, Jesus recognized in himself that power had gone out of him, and he turned about in the crowd and began to say: “Who touched my outer garments?” 31 But his disciples began to say to him: “You see the crowd pressing in upon you, and do you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 However, he was looking around to see her that had done this. 33 But the woman, frightened and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her: “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be in good health from your grievous sickness.”
       Isn’t that a beautiful account? 
      Who healed her? 
      Jesus didnÂ’t know who touched him, remember?
      - 30 Immediately, also, Jesus recognized in himself that power had gone out of him, and he turned about in the crowd and began to say: “Who touched my outer garments?” 31 But his disciples began to say to him: “You see the crowd pressing in upon you, and do you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 
      Who could see that woman working her way up the crowd to get to Jesus? 
      Who could appreciate all the pain she’d been through, the suffering she had been through? 
      Who could appreciate the quality of her faith? 
      Who allowed power to flow out of Jesus into that woman, so she’d be healed? 
      It had to have been Jehovah. 
      You see, Jesus knew something had happened that the apostles didn’t know. That’s why they said: “Well, why do you say: “Who touched me?” 
      ‘THIS is new, something happened’, thought Jesus. He felt ‘power’ go out of him. He knew something remarkable had happened 
      What does that tell you about Jehovah? 
      Isn’t that remarkable? 
      Now another question… 
      What’s her name? 
      Me neither… 
      The Bible doesn’t say. It doesn’t say. “Nobody. She was just nobody.” Was she? 
      Jehovah knew her. He took care of her.
      Do you see the point? 
      So don’t ever get into the feeling that: “Well, I’m nobody. What does God care about me?” 
      He DOES care! 
      And sometimes we’ll say: “Well, I’m so imperfect…” Well of course you are. Who isn’t? We all are. 
      We’re getting life by underserved kindness, brothers and sisters. We’re not getting it because we’re so righteous and so good. We do our best. Yes. But life is coming by God’s underserved kindness. Jehovah sees all of us and the beauty of it is…HE KNOWS! He understands us. He knows that we make mistakes and sometimes we get down on ourselves and beat ourselves, for sure. 
      You know what brother Franz used to say about that? 
      “I remember once at an assembly, the Israelites were all waiting for Jehovah to clear away all the fog and the mist when the Egyptians were after them, you know? And the Israelites were going to cross the Red Sea. Jehovah said to them:
      “Stop praying and get going!”
      And what that means is: 
      Get up! Get going with your life! Serve Jehovah with rejoicing! 
      Don’t ever go through life lamenting and looking at things that have happened and “’Ooh this’, and ‘Oh my, that’”. 
      Jehovah knows… 
      Jesus paid the price that covers our past mistakes; it covers current mistakes and even in the future, as long as we’re genuine in serving God and doing our best…Jehovah forgives us. But we have to put forth the effort and have faith in the arrangement. And then we can serve Him with a good heart. 
      Now, back to that woman… 
      She didn’t have the right to touch Jesus. That’s true, isn’t it? Because she had a flow of blood. And in the Hebrew Scriptures it tells us a woman with a flow of blood was unclean. 
      Now think of it… 
      Here’s this woman, unclean, coming through a crowd, and is going to touch The Holy One of Israel. Jehovah God obviously knew about it, could see it. His own law that He inspired said a woman with a flow of blood was unclean, and yet, what happens? 
      Evidently, He pushes His own law aside, lets her touch Jesus…she becomes clean. He heals her. 
      Doesn’t that tell you something else about Jehovah? 
      He takes everything into account. He looks at the whole picture. He sees our whole life, our whole background. The things we battle with, our imperfections. And He still loves us. And He does what He can to help us. 
      That’s a wonderful thing! That should really move us to really want to serve Jehovah and love doing His will. 
      There’s a scripture in 1 John that says: “Jehovah is greater than our heart.” Well, what that means is that our heart sometimes focuses in just on small individual imperfections and problems we have. But Jehovah sees much more than our little heart. He sees the whole picture. He’s greater than our heart. And we’re grateful for that because, He does, indeed, love every one of us. 
      And so, when you get discouraged and blue…think about that woman. And think about the wonderful hope we have and the beautiful things that are in store for us and our great privilege of serving Jehovah God right to the end. And then we can rejoice and be happy in our service. – Bible Speaks 

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Mrs Mortimer was undergoing a hip operation when she refused the blood transfusion
      A Jehovah's Witness lost her life after she refused a blood transfusion during a major hip operation due to her religious beliefs.
      Barbara Mortimer, 69, went against doctors' advice and sadly died on May 24, 2017, shortly after a hip replacement.
      A final hearing was held at The Old Courthouse in Hatfield yesterday (Wednesday, October 18) before Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan.
      The court heard that in January of this year, Mrs Mortimer visited her GP Mark Penwell with "severe left hip pain."
      Doctor Penwell said: "She was struggling to walk with it, even using a stick.
      "The only useful intervention was a hip replacement."
      He admitted however, that he had concerns about Mrs Mortimer, of Portland Road, Bishop's Stortford, who would decline any blood products due to her being a Jehovah's Witness.
      Mrs Mortimer also suffered what was thought to be a heart attack in 2006 and acute coronary syndrome after having chest pain in 2010.
      For her hip, Mrs Mortimer was referred to consultant orthopaedic surgeon Rajeev Sharma.
      He said: "She came to see me in the clinic on Thursday, March 23.
      "She came in with a diagnosis of hip arthritis on one of the sides.
      "She had an X-ray that showed the joints were worn out."
      Risks associated with the procedure including displacing the hip, heart attack and most commonly infection, were discussed with Mrs Mortimer.
      Mrs Mortimer chose to ungergo surgery, but was taking aspirin at the time which thins the blood. There was also a risk that she would need a blood transfusion during the operation.
      Steps included administering tranexamic acid, swabs soaked in adrenalin and a spinal aesthetic as opposed to general, as these all help to prevent and restrict blood loss.
      Mr Sharma said: "We needed to be sure our surgery is in such a manner to prevent bleeding.
      "It was safe to proceed providing we take all the necessary precautions."
      The procedure went ahead with Mrs Mortimer's haemoglobin levels being within an acceptable range.
      But during the operation after the joint was dislocated, the living part of the bone began to bleed.
      The bleed then became "exponentially massive," according to Mr Sharma following the removal of hard cartilage.
      The adrenalin swabs, an alternative method to stopping the bleed due to Mrs Mortimer's belief's, were inserted to constrict the blood vessels as well as a plastic membrane.
      Mr Sharma said: "We continued with the procedure, it was the best way to stop the bleeding.
      "I could not think why such a lot of bleeding would take place.
      "Was it the aspirin? Would it have had a significant effect on her or was there an anomaly in the pelvic bone?"
      Following the surgery, Mr Sharma spoke with Mrs Mortimer's family.
      "The recommended blood products were declined," he said.
      "We were struggling to keep her alive if we can't give her any blood. Persistent refusal was risking her life."
      Mrs Mortimer faced the decision of accepting blood products or hope that the fluids given to her post-operation would stimulate cell production after such a huge blood loss.
      She died during the early hours of the morning at Rivers Hospital in Sawbridgeworth.
      Mr Sharma was challenged in court by Counsel Kate Smith, who asked whether further enquiries should have been made prior to the hip replacement due to her age, religious beliefs, medical history and the fact she was taking aspirin.
      Ms Smith presented a booklet in court regarding Jehovah's Witnesses and surgery.
      It said "should avoid any medication that could increase blood loss," referring to aspirin which thins the blood and makes the likelihood of needing a blood transfusion more likely.
      Mrs Mortimer signed a refusal form indicating her religious convictions that "no blood transfusions are to be administered in any circumstances".
      Mr Sharma said in "hindsight" there are things that would have been done differently but at that stage all the safety precautions had been made.
      The operation was also not considered to be life-threatening.
      He was also challenged whether Mrs Mortimer needed to be on aspirin. The decision to take this course was made working on the basis that she had suffered a heart attack – later found to be untrue.
      Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan, said: "I cannot see a short form conclusion.
      "The adequate way to my mind is a narrative verdict to encompass blood loss [from the] surgical procedure and declining of blood products.
      "She was admitted to Rivers Hospital, she had advanced decision not to accept blood products, and asked to consider accepting blood products, but declined to do so."

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A judge has authorized a Montreal hospital to perform blood transfusions to treat a 14-year-old teen with cancer, despite her refusal because she is a Jehovah's Witness.
      By allowing transfusions, the court ruled that it is lawful to protect children, sometimes "against themselves," when their decisions can be fatal.
      Under Quebec law, minors over the age of 14 can refuse certain health services. However, if the child’s parents or a hospital--in this case, the McGill University Health Centre--wants to administer those services, they can seek a judge’s permission.
      Superior Court Judge Lukasz Granosik said in his decision that the teen is "a brilliant, articulate girl" who is very successful at school and has a "maturity beyond her biological age," but that she was not yet mature enough to decide for herself, and was under pressure from her parents who are also Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Granosik also noted the girl spoke of death with "resignation," despite having a 97 percent chance of recovery if she underwent treatment.
      In June 2017, she found out she had Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer, and had to begin chemotherapy.
      This treatment, however, often requires blood transfusions. Without it, the patient could die or suffer irreversible neurological damage, her doctor said.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions.
      Judge Granosik’s decision was rendered on Sept. 1.
      - With a report from The Canadian Press

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